Distillery and Brewery Tours in Edinburgh
26 November 2020
Whether you’re a whisky, gin, rum or beer fan, or simply interested in the magical science behind the process of brewing and distilling, there are numerous places in the city you can visit as part of a guided tour (and sample a few glasses!)
Please note, due to Covid-19, a lot of businesses are unable at present to offer tours or have altered tour arrangements. Please check websites and contact directly to confirm current availability and procedures.
The first single malt whisky distillery in the city centre in almost a century, Holyrood Distillery opened in 2019. Situated next to Holyrood Park, the 180-year-old railway goods building has been thoughtfully renovated as both a whisky and gin distillery.
Pre-booked, appointment-only experiences of the distillery can be booked on-line. From November 2020, a programme of virtual 'online' events and experiences that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home will be available. Costing from £55 for 2 people, these virtual tours include at least 40cl of spirits across their whisky and gin range, glencairn glasses, a virtual tour of the distillery, and a fully guided live online tasting – perfect for the cold winter evenings!
The Scotch Whisky Experience
Although not a distillery itself, The Scotch Whisky Experience is a five-star visitor attraction on Edinburgh's Royal Mile tells the tale of Scotland's national drink and is well worth a visit. With a stunning multi-sensory tour and tasting, The Scotch Whisky Experience fully immerses visitors in the water of life via a breath-taking 180° panoramic tour of Scotland’s five whisky-making regions, and a carefully crafted recreation of an 1870s Blender’s Room. Set up in 1987 to educate visitors to Edinburgh about the joys of Scotch whisky, it is now home to the world’s largest private collection of Scotch whisky, held in a glittering vault.
15 miles from Edinburgh is Glenkinchie Distillery, one of the Four Corners distilleries of Johnnie Walker. Visitors can experience an incredible scale model to show the process involved in whisky making, a state of the art visitor centre, as well as a range of tours and classes.
Get an insight into how small batch gin is made at the Pickering's Gin distillery in Summerhall - the first exclusive gin distillery to be established in Edinburgh for over 150 years. See how their hand crafted small batch gin is made, find out more about the botanicals used and sample the gin at different stages in the distilling process. The tour lasts 45-50 minutes and is a must for any gin fan.
Top Tip: After you've finished your tour, pop next door to the Royal Dick pub which has a pipe straight from the distillery and serves Pickerings Gin on tap!
Visit the Edinburgh Gin Distillery to indulge both the mind and the palate in all things gin. Nestled in the heart of the city, beneath the stairs at 1a Rutland Place, in the dramatic shadow of Edinburgh Castle. You’ll meet Flora and Caledonia, the distillery’s copper stills and learn how this popular spirit is made, take a tour or a guided tasting, and even try your hand at making your own bottle of gin!
Old Curiosity Distillery
Founded in 2017, Old Curiosity Distillery is housed in the Secret Herb Garden on the outskirts of Edinburgh and in the shadows of the Pentland Hills. The garden has over 600 naturally grown and tendered varieties of herbs, many of which are used in the production of Old Curiosity’s gins.
Beginning with the hand-picking and drying of the garden’s flowers through to distilling, bottling and labelling, everything happens on site and will be showcased during the gin garden and distillery tour.
56 North Gin
56 North Gin This dedicated gin bar opened in 2008 and now also has a working distillery which makes South Loch Gin.
Running around 60-90 mins, their South Loch Gin Distillery Tasting and Cocktail Class covers the basics of botanicals, distilling, equipment and bottling. You receive a South Loch Gin & Fever-Tree tonic on arrival; taste three gins made on the stills and end with a sparkling cocktail made with one of the distillery limited editions. This class is superb for anyone wanting to understand more about production as well as see a working gin still up-close.
Port of Leith Distillery
Port of Leith Distillery currently based at Tower Street Stillhouse, Port of Leith Distillery are in the process of building a new distillery next to The Royal Yacht Britannia and Ocean Terminal.
Tours of Tower Street Stillhouse will commence in 2021 – lasting about 75 minutes, guests will learn how they devise and produce Lind & Lime Gin, why they ship their own sherry from Spain, and the various things that they’re planning with their whisky. You can enjoy a glass of their Oloroso Sherry, a Gin & Tonic and couple of their signature cocktails while you listen. You’ll even get £5 off a bottle of gin on the night!
Sweetdram is based inside a massive industrial warehouse in Edinburgh, the Sweetdram distillery opened in 2014 and is an exciting work-in-progress. Producing Escubac, Smoked Spice Rum and Whisky Amaro, they hope to open soon for general tours.
Sip Antics specializing in small and very personal gin school classes from their bespoke private micro distilling room in the heart of the city, each class attendee gets to design their own gin recipe, make a bottle of gin on the small 2 litre copper stills, bottle, label and wax seal to enjoy at home.
Edinburgh Beer Factory
Edinburgh Beer Factory combining old and new ideas and techniques to create beer and inspired by the Edinburgh-born ‘Father of Pop Art’ Eduardo Paolozzi, Edinburgh Beer Factory showcase the art of brewing. Their brewery tours include a walkthrough of their lager-making process, from blank canvas to final product. You’ll even get the chance to taste the raw ingredients and the unfiltered brew!
Stewart Brewing whether you want to pick their brewer’s brains on brewing science or gain an insight into the more creative process of designing beer recipes and flavours, this tour offers both. Lasting 2 hours, visitors are welcomed with a beer, told about the history behind Stewart Brewing and taken on a tour of the brewery. Then it’s back to the bar where you get to pick 3 beers to enjoy at your leisure.
Bellfield Brewery creating classic IPAs, hoppy ales and crisp, refreshing and perfectly balanced lagers and pilsners, Bellfield is dedicated to the craft of brewing great tasting beers that everyone can enjoy. All their beers are certified by Coeliac UK and Registered with the Vegan Society. Brewery Tours & Tastings available.